Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

The 2Cubed Web Design Wexford & Dublin Blog contains blog post content with valuable information such as website tips and tricks to improve your website.

LEO Online Trading Voucher – 2021 update

  • Financial assistance for businesses to build a presence and trade more online
  • Up to €2,500 available with just 50% of this coming from your business
  • Businesses that have already received an online trading voucher previously are eligible to apply for a second voucher

The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme has been in place for a number of years and has offered thousands of businesses the funding to start or help with trading online. The good news is that the scheme is continuing on into 2021.

With Covid-19 hitting many businesses last year, the 2020 scheme was a fantastic way to build online platforms as many businesses looked to get an eCommerce element in place. The vouchers are worth up to €2,500 or up to 50% of the total (whichever is less).

In order to apply and be eligible for the scheme this year, you must:

– Be trading for at least six months
– Employ between 1 and 10 staff
– Attend a Trading Online Seminar with your Local Enterprise Office

More information on the scheme can be found here – https://www.localenterprise.ie/Wexford/Financial-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher/

You can download the LEO Trading Online Voucher application form by clicking here.

Contacting us

If you have any questions on this scheme, please reach out to us in the same channels as you normally would:

Technical Support – support@2cubed.ie

General Enquiries – by using our contact form or by emailing hello@2cubed.ie. You can also avail of the LiveChat service on our website.

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How can I improve my website speed?

As far back as 2012, when web technologies were far behind what they are now, it was estimated that just a 1 second delay could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales each year. Slow loading webpages can cause a host of problems including higher bounce rates and lower conversions and can have a negative effect on business success overall.

In today’s busy world, nothing frustrates us more than having to wait. Whether it’s a bus, a train or a website, we expect everything to be instant nowadays.

When we look at website speed from the outside, it’s a very complex issue. The amount of variables taken into consideration just to load a webpage are considerable and this varies for each and every website. The technologies in place, the hosting setup, optimisation and much more are all factored in to this.

On top of this, speed and mobile usage should be optimised fully to enhance Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). By keeping on top of this, you can ensure that you are maximising one of the factors that go into your search ranking.

New Technologies for a Faster Web

Our resident speedster Scott Kennedy has been spending hours and hours researching solutions for a faster web! Scott’s project WPGridsome (https://wpgridsome.com/) is available for viewing and describes the technology that’s gone into it. Running a Google Pagespeed Test gives some hugely impressive results – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.

There’s also a fantastic explanation of the overall process and infrastructure here – https://gridsome.org/docs/fast-by-default/

Using the Jamstack architecture can help enormously and can take your website to the next level performance wise. This modern technology offers a wide range of benefits – https://jamstack.org/

How to improve Google Pagespeed Insights scores?

Some tips for improving your score are as follows:

  • Image optimisation
  • Serving images in a next gen format
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Remove unnecessary plugins
  • Improve your hosting package
  • Implement website caching
  • Optimise your database

Tools for Testing Speed

Google Pagespeed Insights
Pingdom
GTMetrix
YSlow
Think with Google

Get in touch now to discuss your options! 2Cubed can help you to improve your website speed giving your users a far better experience. You can call us at 051-440425 and ask for Stephen or follow the link below:

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Cookie Compliance – GDPR

We’ve heard so much over the past few years about GDPR and protection of personal data. In May 2018, the European GDPR regulation came into force and caused many businesses to re-evaluate how they process and store customer information.

Cookie Compliance

More recently in Ireland, the Data Protection Commission have undertaken audits of a number of websites in varying industries to gain an understanding of compliance. For the most part, a high number of websites are not compliant. The full guidance can be found here – https://dataprotection.ie/en/guidance-landing/cookies.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small files stored on your browser when visiting a website. They essentially track your movements throughout the website to improve browsing experience by storing specific information each time you visit a site. They can also be used for may other purposes such as;

  • Necessary for the function of a website
  • To track data for Analytics tools (Allowing webmasters to track traffic and behaviours on the website)
  • Used for Advertising in order to tailor relevant ads to a user

Earlier this year, the European Data Protection Board issued guidance regarding the use of such cookies. The main finding from this report, which you can view here – https://edpb.europa.eu/sites/edpb/ was to allow users more freedom over the use of cookies. This means that a user must clearly give unambiguous consent when they land on a website. Implied consent is no longer a valid method.

Solutions

From the 5th October 2020, the DPC will be carrying out further audits and may even issue fines where compliance is not met. 2Cubed can help you to ensure you are compliant. We have been working with a company called OneTrust to help with this. You can read more here – https://www.onetrust.com/products/cookie-compliance/. Don’t delay now, protect your website. Please contact us for more information or to get started – https://2cubed.ie/contact/.

***Please Note***

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice or guidance. It is simply to inform you of the upcoming deadline and what you may do to help to achieve compliance on your website. Each and every website is different and therefore requires analysis individually. You should seek legal advice for all matters concerning GDPR or cookie compliance in your area of jurisdiction.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Hire 2Cubed

When choosing a website provider, there are many things to consider. For many people this will take them outside of their comfort zone and can be an entirely new experience and choosing a provider you can trust is essential to help ensure your web design project goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Trust

When you choose 2Cubed, you can be confident that you can place your trust in us to help you along the way. We are here to offer guidance and assistance for any questions you may have along the way from project conception to completion. We are focused on helping you achieve your goals and vision.

2. Expertise

With many years of experience in the broad field of website design & development, we are perfectly placed to tailor and execute even the most complex of projects. We have many years experience dealing with web design & development in many industries, API Development, connecting complex systems and interfaces and much more. You can view our broad range of services here – 2Cubed Web Design Services. Our graphic design process allows you to tailor your approach and we are here to help along the way step by step. Your design will only reach programming once you are fully satisfied!

3. Transparency

When you sign up to commence a partnership with 2Cubed, we remain fully committed to be open and transparent along each phase of the project. When we create your project plan, we will ensure that the steps listed within your plan are fully transparent for both parties. This helps to keep the working relationship open and clear. If we feel like your expectations are unrealistic then we will challenge the reasoning behind this and come up with a solution as to not impede or restrict you moving forward.

4. Due Diligence, Process & Care

We aim to exercise caution and care when you approach us for a working partnership. Before commencing, it’s important that both parties are on the same page in terms of the scope of the project. Open and honest communication is at the forefront of our principles. Our carefully planned process is built on years of experience and serves as a valuable tool – https://2cubed.ie/our-process/. This is a core part of our business and one that helps you to fully understand the steps along the way in a simplified manner.

5. Fully Managed Service

At 2Cubed, we offer a wide range of services ensuring that you don’t need to worry about items such as:

  • Hosting
  • Backups
  • Security
  • Domain Management
  • Updates, ongoing maintenance and much more

By taking care of this, we make sure to take the stress and hassle of doing so away from you, allowing you to focus on your own business!

6. Training

When your new website is ready to go-live, we offer an option to have training on using the CMS; adding products, pages, posts and much more. This gives you the flexibility to allow your team members to keep the website up to date with the latest information. Whether it’s adding / editing product data or amending content on page to writing a blog, we will guide you through each and ensure you are comfortable using the new site.

7. Aftercare and Support

When your website is pushed live to the world, you can rest assured that you won’t be left in the lurch. We aim to support you fully in the weeks after the launch and moving forward beyond this. We provide Website Maintenance for hundreds of websites across Ireland and we offer a fully managed support system for each of these. This gives you the comfort that you can reach out with any questions or issues after go-live and will be fully supported.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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10 Pieces of Advice for Getting Better Search Results

We’d all love for our websites to rank as efficiently as possible with minimal effort; but unfortunately it just isn’t that simple. Our guide below should give some insight into what’s involved in getting your website ranking well.

Review your current standing

This is a big deal. Instead of blindly going full steam ahead with changes / amendments to your search strategy, we suggest that you review your current site in its present standing. That way, you’ll get a greater understanding of what’s required and will give you a greater chance of success ongoing. Check your current rankings and try to understand the bigger picture in terms of how you are ranking compared to your competitors. Tools such as SEOptimer can help provide a good level of insight from a broad SEO perspective.

Understand how Search Engines work

Understanding the fundamental purpose of search engines and how they index and rank websites is also key in ensuring you obtain and sustain successful search results ongoing. Information to help with this is readily available for free! For example, the Google SEO guide contains lots of helpful and insightful information – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en. Doing this, you’ll get a greater understanding of best practices moving forward.

Develop a keyword strategy

Think about the key terms you would want your website to be found for. Make a list, use an Excel sheet to list these out and then prioritise them in order of preference. Utilise long-tail keywords and gradually narrow down to more generic search terms that are more difficult to rank for. Some keywords are of course, more more difficult to rank than others. Tools like WordTracker can help with this.

Content

One of the most important elements, if not THE most is content. Content plays a huge role in how your website ranks. Using your list of keywords, try and develop and broaden your content to include these terms. You’ll want to make sure that your content is user friendly, easy to read and relevant to your business. Avoid black-hat strategies such as keyword stuffing. The Yoast SEO tool is very good for helping to score and evaluate content based on what you have added to your pages / posts / products.

Utilise your Blog

A blog is a great way to tell a story, to get a news post out to your audience and much more. Using your blog frequently allows you to implement your keywords within the content and is a great way to build your online presence and get found online.

Performance / Speed

The speed of your website can have a huge bearing on user experience and conversions. On top of this, speed is now a crucial ranking factor when it comes to Google. Here’s a great article explaining this in detail. https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/07/search-ads-speed. Use tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix and Pagespeed Insights to audit your site speed and find out what’s slowing it down.

Mobile / User Experience

Since the majority of users will visit your site on a mobile device, we can’t stress just how important it is to have a fluid, responsive and user friendly mobile layout in place. Without this, your organic positioning and traffic may be hugely negatively affected. Ensure that your content is easy to find, easy to read and not blocked by annoying pop-ups etc. Mobile optimisation is absolutely essential and should never be overlooked.

Link Building

Once you are happy with your website in terms of performance, mobile responsiveness and content, performing your link building strategy will supplement these greatly. We recently wrote a post on link building which you can find here.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is the place to measure your website’s performance / errors / reports and more. Here you can submit your sitemap, check for any pages with mobile errors and see your performance on Google for a particular period. On top of this, keep an eye out for any algorithm updates and changes to understand whether or not you are being penalised in any way – https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

Google Analytics

Without measuring your performance and metrics, it’s going to be difficult to improve. Google Analytics provides a huge amount of data for doing so. Even if you are to just looking to measure organic performance ongoing after following the above recommendations then this is your go-to tool. Google run free online classes for beginners to familiarise yourself with Analytics and can be really beneficial! https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/

Conclusion

To conclude, spending time and effort on the points above will no doubt help to increase your search rankings and results. Take your time and make sure you are doing things the right way rather than looking for a fast fix.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you to build your online presence. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Why You Need A Website Maintenance Plan

You find out website has been hacked. Your customers cannot access important information or your users cannot purchase your goods or services. What do you do? Panic!

You don’t have a website maintenance plan in place and don’t have a point of contact to help resolve the issue. This is just one of the many issues you are likely to encounter without a professional website maintenance plan in place. Websites are more vulnerable to breaches and hacks nowadays more than ever. Sophisticated systems are always targeting sensitive information and vulnerabilities.

why do i need a website maintenance plan?

What’s involved in a website maintenance plan?

Ensuring your site is fully up to date and patched ongoing is one the fundamental purposes of a website maintenance plan. Along with this, some of the other key purposes a plan may include are as follows:

  • Speed Optimisation / Performance
  • Server updates
  • Content addition / general updates and support
  • Health Checks
  • Broken links etc which may harm SEO performance

2Cubed offer a number of website plans, tailored for you. This allows you get the most out of your plan while being safe in the knowledge that your online business is safe and secure.

Find out more about our fully managed website maintenance and management services here – https://2cubed.ie/services/website-management-maintenance/

You can use our dedicated ‘get a quote’ form to get a quote based on your requirements – https://2cubed.ie/get-a-quote/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Simplifying SEO – Link Building

Often times, the basics and fundamentals of SEO are overlooked as we focus on the more technical challenges that Search Engine Optimisation presents. Before diving in to the more complex SEO issues, we should focus on two of the absolute basic and key items – content & link building. For this post, we’ll take a look at link building and how to do it correctly.

Image credit to Diggity Marketing.

What is link building?

Link building is the action whereby another website contains a hyperlink back to your website. As simple as that sounds, a high-quality link building strategy requires a great deal of time and patience and is something that one cannot rest on. The value of link building remains hugely important for SEO in 2020 and will remain so for some time.

It’s important to note that – Google do not take any malicious or non-genuine link strategy lightly and your website will suffer drastically as a result. More on Google’s policy regarding link schemes and their guidelines can be found here.

How can I build good quality links?

Google’s Penguin update focused not just on the amount of links to a website but the quality and relevance of the links instead. Some years ago, black-hat techniques would see websites participating in link farming and so on with the sole purpose of increasing visibility and this was unfair to the user doing it the right way! This all changed back in 2011 with the release of Panda which as mentioned, focused on high quality links and reduced the the value of a link from a ‘thin’ website or a website purely in place to participate in black-hat strategies.

Building good links the right way involves effort. Reaching out to relevant partners and building trust and a relationship may present the opportunity to have a link placed on that partners website. This may be a guest blog post, a help guide or just a link on a ‘Partnership’ page as an example. The relevance of the link is also a big factor. Note that link exchanging is not a good practice and can lead to penalties. This is the idea of exchanging a link purely for the sake of doing so without any real relevance or benefit for both parties.

How to measure link building performance?

Many tools allow you to view the total number of backlinks to your website. Some of the Pro or paid tools such as Ahrefs, Moz Pro or SEM Rush will include a detailed ranking on these links and the probable authority of that link. This means you get an overview of these links and can tailor your outreach to similar sites or industries to build even further. Google Search Console is a fantastic tool and will also provide insight on these backlinks. Using the ‘acquisition’ – ‘referral’ option on Google Analytics shows you where exactly the traffic to your site originated.

To summarise, focusing on high quality and relevant link building strategies can have a massive payoff for your website and is something that should be at the forefront of SEO work.

To find out how we can help your SEO strategy, please Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Digital Audit

A Digital Audit can certainly bring many things to mind that you may not have considered. A full and thorough audit of your brands’ online position is certainly worth the effort.

What is a Digital Audit?

In our previous post, we looked at an SEO audit and what this can bring your website in terms of organic positioning – https://2cubed.ie/2018/11/free-seo-audit/

A full digital audit looks into much more. While an SEO review is essential, we take a look at the bigger picture online. Just some of these elements include:

  • SEO Strategy: On-page, off-page and the technical elements involved in ensuring your website performs as expected.
  • Social Media presence: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram & more.
  • Blogging: An informative and descriptive blog can present many opportunities.
  • Other online platforms: Google Business, Google Maps, Directories, Reviews & many more. 

Competition is greater than ever nowadays. Ensuring your online presence is optimised and efficient may be what makes you stand out from the crowd. 

Measuring performance

Building your online presence is a time consuming task that involves a great deal of effort. Ensuring that you can accurately measure the work carried out is very important. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Social Media Metrics and so on are vital to measure performance. Using these correctly will involve some getting used to but are definitely worth the effort. You can use the data from these tools to view elements and KPIs such as goals, traffic acquisition, audience behaviour and so much more. This data is a great way to see progression!

If you’re serious about building your presence online, then a digital audit is something that should be considered as a priority. By discovering faults, issues and areas for improvement, you can develop a long term strategy of key steps to help your business on an upward track moving into the future. Start your Digital Audit today!

To find out more about what we can offer you, please Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Social Media Advertising – is it worth it?

Social media advertising spend was over $100 billion in 2019. This is expected to exceed $200 billion in the next 3 years. The potential to build successful social media campaigns is certainly viable but is it worth the risk?

Any company with a social media strategy in place, will most likely have spent money on ads or is planning to in the short to medium term. As competition grows, companies are looking into ways to actively engage with users, to drive traffic, boost sales and increase brand awareness.

Social media usage is at an all-time high. More than 3 billion people are actively using social media on a regular basis*. This means the potential to target your ideal customer is certainly possible on a daily basis. How you choose to do this is key. *source – https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/

So, taking this into account, what are the best ways to maximise ROI? And which platforms work best?

Facebook

Facebook is, and will be for some time the number 1 for social media usage and social advertising. With over 2.4 billion active users, this platform is absolutely vital to any planned social spend. Here at 2Cubed, we have found Facebook advertising to be the most efficient, cost-effective strategy when advertising online. The ability to target a preferred audience, in multiple locations is a simple process if you know your target audience. The variety of ad types is also quite good (photos, videos, events, jobs etc). The budget spending flexibility is also a great tool and even for small amounts you are likely to see some decent results on engagement and return on investment.

Instagram

With over 1 billion active users, Instagram is a hugely popular social media channel and continues to grow. The ability to place ads on the platform is also a simple enough process since Facebook integrated both platforms centrally in their Ad Manager. Ads created on Facebook can now display on Instagram and again, the ability to target your preferred audience is relatively straightforward. In fact, you don’t even need an Instagram account for your business in order to advertise on the platform. The downside of Instagram advertising can be the lower engagement rate on ads compared to Facebook. In saying that, according to Facebook ‘over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile per day’. Instagram advertising is certainly one to consider in the coming year. You can read more on this here.

Twitter

In the past few days, Twitter have announced that revenues in the company have exceeded $1 billion for the first time. Advertising money accounts for a large portion of this. This obviously suggests that more companies are considering Twitter for advertising purposes. Audience targeting is simple and efficient but not quite as effective as Facebook. Twitter’s platform is getting better and while we wouldn’t suggest ploughing money into a campaign just yet, a small budget campaign may be worth doing to gauge how successful it can be.

These were just some of the platforms available when considering advertising online. When combined with a solid SEO plan and Google Ads, social can be a great way to tap into your users first hand whilst controlling your budgets closely.

Linkedin

Linkedin is a tricky one. With over 300 million active users, it can be an excellent platform in general but when it comes to advertising, we’ve found it to be not so good for the most part. The cost-per-click is sometimes outrageous and a small to medium campaign can lead to costs spiralling in a short space of time with varying degrees of success. Linkedin advertising may improve and is possibly quite a good tool for large corporations but for now we would suggest sticking to the more user and budget friendly competitor platforms.

Contact us

If you’re looking for assistance with online marketing, 2Cubed can help. Contact us today by using the form below or you can use our dedicated ‘get a quote’ form here.

SEO Trends 2020

In this post, we will take a look at what to look out for in 2020 from an SEO point of view. Search Engine Optimisation is a huge focus for many online businesses nowadays and is more crucial than ever in order to help drive traffic and ultimately sales.

Image credit to Diggity Marketing.

Content and BERT

Fundamentally, SEO has for a long time been made up of a number of set variables, such as; backlinks, content and keywords. As search engines are constantly developing, we’re now at a point where the bots sent out by search engines to crawl websites are smarter than ever and becoming more human like due to advancements in AI. This leads us to think not just about content simply stuffed with keywords but content that is well written and answers the queries of real users. This was highlighted back in October last year by the introduction of Google’s BERT algorithm (Read Here). As mentioned in the article, each day almost 15% of queries searched for haven’t been searched for before. By analysing your website content in a more human format, allows Google to show users the most relevant websites based on the search term. Content is king as they say!

Technical SEO

Here at 2Cubed, something we’ve taken a particular focus in over the past year has been technical SEO. We had written a post outlining this in detail here. Technical SEO is the focus on the architecture of your site, the speed, the usability of pages and much more. Google Search Console is an excellent tool to examine any warnings or errors and ensuring these are clear will help massively toward SEO performance. Any site focusing on SEO this year should be fully aware of this.

Structured Data

If you’ve ever searched a term on Google, you most likely will have seen some structured data such as featured snippets. Featured snippets are described by Google as ‘Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called featured snippets.’

By adding structured data to your site allows you the opportunity to compete for space on the results page above the first position. This is a fantastic way to grow traffic and improve click-through rates.

Voice Search

More and more, users are searching queries by asking questions. Use of Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and others are on the rise and the technology behind these brings us back to BERT. Conversational queries are not text and as such, search engines need to understand what is being asked and which relevant results are to display. By reviewing your content and optimising it with this in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of appearing for a search term and increasing traffic to your site.

This was just some of the trends to look out for in 2020. Applying these to your SEO strategy will most likely lead to positive results! Some others to keep in mind are:

  • Link Building
  • Mobile SEO
  • Local SEO
  • UX

2Cubed can help you grow your online business! Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here.

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